SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster thinks that coverage of Celtic matches and other games in Scottish football will experience a ‘sea change’ next season, speaking on The Price of Football Podcast.
A new £160m TV deal kicks in for the 2020/21 campaign, with Sky Sports becoming exclusive broadcasters of 45 to 48 Scottish Premiership fixtures.
It’s the first time someone has had exclusive rights to the league since 2009, with Sky sharing the rights with BT Sport and Setanta over the last decade.
For plenty of supporters, the coverage of BT has been a breath of fresh air in the game, with pundits like Kris Boyd and Kris Commons not exactly getting rave reviews on Sky.
Questioned about the coverage going forward though, Doncaster reckons that there will be much to celebrate when it comes to Sky’s broadcasting as they become exclusive partners.
Speaking on The Price of Football Podcast, he said: “I think we will see the Scottish game given the profile and coverage it deserves next year by Sky Sports.
“We went through a process – an auction process effectively – BT and others had the chance to outbid Sky.
“We had joint rights between the two since 2012 and before that with Setanta – 2009 was the last time we had an exclusive partner. Since then rights have been shared so it’s perhaps no surprise the broadcasters haven’t given it the love they show other leagues.
“I’m confident we will see a sea change in the approach with Sky taking up the reigns exclusively.”
Perhaps the biggest hurdle Sky have next season is ensuring they have a panel of pundits that appeal to a wide spectrum of Scottish football fans.
Former players such as Chris Sutton, Ally McCoist and Michael Stewart are never short of an opinion or a bit of banter and could really add a bit of entertainment to proceedings.
However, none of them are found regularly on Sky.
Although maligned often, to be fair to Sky, they were the only TV group to stump up the cash, so there should perhaps be an element of giving them the benefit of the doubt if they intend to have a fresh start.
Hopefully it’s better than their current offering.